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Gods in AmericaReligious Pluralism in the United States$
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Charles L. Cohen and Ronald L. Numbers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.001.0001

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Evangelicalism and Religious Pluralism in Contemporary America: Diversity Without, Diversity Within, and Maintaining the Borders

Evangelicalism and Religious Pluralism in Contemporary America: Diversity Without, Diversity Within, and Maintaining the Borders

Chapter:
(p.105) Chapter 4 Evangelicalism and Religious Pluralism in Contemporary America: Diversity Without, Diversity Within, and Maintaining the Borders
Source:
Gods in America
Author(s):

William Vance Trollinger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.003.0004

The question of increased religious pluralism, and the concomitant legal and cultural support for such pluralism, has sparked a great deal of discussion among evangelical Protestants, the largest block of Christians in the United States. Judging by the discourse in the flagship publication Christianity Today, evangelicals are becoming more comfortable with increased diversity within Christianity itself, perhaps because they confidently presume that the emerging global Church is an evangelical Church. They do, however, express deep ambivalence, even discomfort, with religious pluralism within the United States, which they see as eroding their own moral authority. At the same time, pluralism is also deeply inscribed in American Evangelicals’ theological DNA, imparting a freedom to create a variety of ecclesiastical and social arrangements. Evangelicals’ concern to define their boundaries over against diversity may issue from a sense that a younger generation of believers may not find pluralism as disquieting as do their elders.

Keywords:   Protestantism, Evangelicalism, Christianity Today, Protestant-Catholic relations, Protestant pluralism

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